SRUC students get lesson in health impacts of green space

Garden design students at the Edinburgh campus of Scotland's Rural College have visited a North Edinburgh community garden to gain a better understanding of how green spaces can be a positive influence on health and wellbeing.

SRUC garden design students with North Edinburgh Arts community growing coordinator Valla Moodie (bottom row, second from right). Image: Supplied
SRUC garden design students with North Edinburgh Arts community growing coordinator Valla Moodie (bottom row, second from right). Image: Supplied

The visit was part of their preparation for Gardening Scotland, held on the Royal Highland Show ground, Ingliston from 3 - 5 June.

The garden project is based at North Edinburgh Arts and was funded in 2013 by the Lottery Fund. It provides an area for the local community to grow everything from fruit and vegetables to flowers. The students' visit was inspired by the Royal Horticultural Society's Greening Grey Britain campaign.

It promotes the use of urban areas for gardening in order to promote people's health and well-being and is also supporting the student's competition initiative at Ingliston.

The students' fact-finding mission helped with their Gardening Scotland "Hive Jive" entry, one of eight show gardens at the event. It is based on the Waggle Dance bees perform to communicate, and aims to promote gardening for bees and other wildlife which in turn benefits people.

The figure-of-eight patterns the bees perform to inform hive mates where to find the best pollen and nectar has been incorporated into the students' design along with the hexagon shapes of honeycomb.

"Being able to develop and enhance every area of our cities to benefit wildlife is crucial to our own happiness," said Joan Sayers, a mature student whose design was chosen by the team from several the group submitted. "Gardens can be creative, fun and meaningful."

The show garden being finished at Kings Buildings will be dismantled and carried to the Royal Highland Show Ground for reassembly and planting up, ready for the Gardening Scotland judges on 2 June. They are using over 1,500 plants, some raised from seed in SRUC Greenhouses, others sourced from uppliers such as R&B Plants in Lasswade.

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